Five Things on the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal


Volkswagen: How Car Software Can Rig a Test

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  1. rd commented on Sep 24

    Car makers do much of the testing for fuel efficiency and emissions on cars prior to sale on the market. This appears to be another example where “self-regulation” of corporations leaves gaping holes for fraud as we have seen car manufacturers take steps to game the system for both of these to date.

    This hasn’t been a major issue in the safety area because the NHTSA and IIHS do their own testing and report their results back to the manufacturers. As a result, for example, Toyota ended up redesigning the recent Camry model twice because it failed to achieve a “Good” score on the IIHS small overlap crash test.

    So can we finally put to bed the BS argument that companies can be “self-regulating” when it comes to major issues. The deregulation of the financial industry was a major cause of the housing crash and 2008 Financial Crisis. We saw the Macondo oil spill wreak havoc in the Gulf, had the Chinese drywall problems, have had multiple scandals with automakers, and are seeing ongoing manipulation of financial markets by major banks.

    These are all “Tragedy of the Commons” types of problems where fraud and carelessness by corporations for their own short-term benefit cause long-term problems for society. We need firm regulation of areas with major potential impacts while backing away from the little stuff, such as the problems that came to light in Ferguson where poor people were being hounded into poverty by BS jaywalking, etc. tickets with court fees that mounted to astronomical levels for them. It should be the executives causing billions of dollars in damages and causing pollution impacting millions of people who should be going to jail, not a poor person who crossed on a red light. An expensive watch, tie, and suit should not be a barrier to prosecution.

    he Austrian and Chicago economic schools clearly don’t understand how actual societies, people, and corporations working. Instead they live in a magical fictional land. Unfortunately, the adoption of these beliefs has wreaked havoc on many areas of society.

    • VennData commented on Sep 24

      “…Jerry Brown, the Clinton’s, Obama and California’s complex emissions standards created the environment where car-job creators HAD TO CHEAT just to make a living for their un-aborted FAMILIES…”

      – Carly Fiorina

    • doug86 commented on Sep 25

      I suppose one could make that same argument about drug dealers in our inner cities: breaking the law to feed families.

  2. howardoark commented on Sep 24

    What I don’t understand is how they thought they could get away with it. Since all of their competitors buy their cars and reverse engineer them, you would think that every one of their competitors would have known and one of them would have dropped a dime on them ( for younger readers, at one point there were public telephones you could use for $0.10 for three minutes for a local call). Somewhere in Germany there is a middle manager who will go down in history for having made the worst decision in the history of commerce. I can’t believe it goes any higher than that because it is just so stupid. Of course, if it turns out Ford, GM, Toyota and Nissan did figure it out and just copied them, I will have to reassess my scale for truly idiotic.

    • DeDude commented on Sep 25

      Yeah – talk about the little engineer that couldn’t.

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